Special Event

Nine Nasty Words with John McWhorter

Thursday, September 23, 2021 | 6:30pm

$8 | Friedman Family Auditorium


whatever your opinions of its use, is a rich field of study for linguists. The
words we find offensive, shocking, or just mildly crude change over time and
space, and reflect the priorities of our society. But the power of curse words
isn’t just social – it’s physical. When you drop a nasty word into your
conversation, the right side of your brain lights up in a way that just doesn’t
happen with “good” words. Regardless of the language, swear words are just

Join popular Columbia University professor John McWhorter for a lively discussion of how to
use linguistics to find “structure in what seems like chaos, mess or the
trivial.” And why he thinks the nine nasty words featured in his new book
are really “nine nasty ways of being human.”

McWhorter’s new book Nine Nasty Words:
English in the Gutter Then Now, and Forever
 will be available for purchase and signing.

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